Verhagen lashes out at anti-Europe attitude

1st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

An anti-Europe policy which would see an end to the euro and the Netherlands close its borders would lead to more unemployment.

Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen made this remark in an interview with news website "What Wilders has been saying sounds quite nice. What are Europe and the euro to me? Throw all these countries out! But you would have to accept the consequences,” says Verhagen.

"I feel it would be irresponsible if one more person in the Netherlands lost their job and one man or woman in the Netherlands lost their savings or pension as the result of my policies.” The deputy prime minister and leader of the CDA party in the ruling coalition argues that the Netherlands is an exporting nation par excellence which has been earning its wages and pensions in Europe for centuries.

Bureaucracy He admits that Europe should not interfere with everything, and that the Brussels bureaucracy should be curbed. Measures should also be taken to place legal restraints on countries which are living on credit.

"But to go as far as to say we should close our borders? Would that help the Dutch people? If we were to go back to the guilder, Dutch tomato growers would go bankrupt because his tomatoes would be far too expensive for the rest of Europe. The guilder would be more expensive than the Spanish peseta or the Italian lira. Do you have any idea how many people would lose their jobs?”

Mr Verhagen admits that Wilders’ anti-Europe attitude is winning him votes in the polls, but the cabinet refuses to adjust its policies accordingly. “People have jobs thanks to Europe. That’s what guides me, not the irritation I feel about how some countries squander their wealth or the chaotic decision-making process in Brussels."

Stable euro The economic affairs minister says a stable euro and an adequate solution to the debt crisis are in the Netherlands best interest. "These are uncertain times, in which people worry about their spending power. The biggest loss of spending power is losing your job. Our policies are designed to keep employment at the highest possible level. As preconditions, we need a stable euro and being able to continue exporting our products.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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